Bird’s the Word

Swans love pair bond

There are so many bird songs I could choose today for Jim’s Thursday Inspiration prompt. We have Blackbird (Beatles), Snowbird (Anne Murray), Songbird (Fleetwood Mac), Free Bird (Lynyrd Skynyrd), Surfin’ Bird (Trashmen), Mockingbird (Carly Simon and James Taylor), Fly Like An Eagle (Steve Miller), When Doves Cry (Prince), Rock-In Robin (Bobby Day), etc. Of course, who could forget May The Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose by Little Jimmy Dickens? Though a Bird of Paradise is really a plant ~ and I should know because I have a couple video tutorials of BOPs queued up to paint. I’m sure I’ll do a terrible job, but if not, I’ll post ’em.

It’s been a long day though and we’re kitten-sitting here. OMG, I forgot how crazy kittens are! One of them just dunked the toy mouse in the water bowl. The other water bowl he knocked over completely. He’s obsessed with water! So I am in the mood for some calm and relaxing music. How about the Swan Lake Theme by Tchaikovsky? I think that’s just perfect for tonight.

©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Outside My Window

rain flowers

Raindrops on blossoms

Drizzle on the garbage dump

Neutrality rules

©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Senryū written for Word Craft Poetry Challenge 313.

No Magic Tricks Here

Magic cards girl

What’s something most people don’t understand? [WP Daily Prompt]

Since I don’t know most people, it would be arrogant to assume what they do or do not understand. Though I’ve been accused of being arrogant, I’m actually not, plus I don’t think that accusation counts as it was made by a guy I rejected for being a racist jerk.

Going only by my own anecdotal experience however, here are some things that people I’ve encountered have failed to understand. The main one was back in school/college when I kept getting asked what my “trick” was to getting such high grades. With very few exceptions, it was because I worked really hard, took tons of notes, and studied my butt off for tests. Other students didn’t like this answer ~ they wanted a shortcut. There are no shortcuts! Hit the books.

woman books crazy rage

Similarly, people either don’t understand or don’t want to accept that, barring illness, there is ONE WAY to stay slim later in life and that is by not eating so much. That’s all there is to it, no tricks. If you think you can lose weight via exercise only, good luck with that. Elite athletes watch what they eat, and most of us aren’t in that category anyway. Exercise will actually rev up our appetite, so whether we do a lot or a little, we have to accept being hungry. Sorry. The truth hurts. If you’re nomming up treats all the time because you “deserve it” or are feeling low, guess what? The scale will show it. The scale doesn’t care that you were sad and needed a double cheeseburger, fries, and a milkshake. You can’t make every day a special occasion or even once a week. Ouch. I know!

shrug woman

There’s also no trick to not being in massive debt and that’s to quit spending money you don’t have. Yeah, I’m no fun. Tell me about it! OK, before anyone starts, this doesn’t take into consideration our horrible medical system here in the US. Medical debt is an unfortunate reality for many people. Aside from that, people continually overspend on junk they don’t need, which is why they’re in overwhelming debt. It’s just math, not magic.

©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Impossibly Blue

fantasy couple blue water

When I dream of you, I dive into the impossibly blue sea where everything is fantasy. I am perfect there, a bejeweled mermaid, tail scales glistening, streams of pearls in my hair. You love me perfectly in this azure paradise, where all that was impossible becomes real, the scales of judgment swept from your lazuline eyes.

When I wake, I am impossibly blue, streams of tears dripping from my eyes. All that was possible is impossible, as unreachable as the stars in the lazuline sky. Pearls of rain bead upon the windowpane, forming a glistening tale of possibilities denied.

©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Written for the Carrot Ranch 99-Word Story Challenge.

Once We Begin

robot AI artificial intelligence

“Once we begin to experience consequences from our actions, we will then pause to reflect and reconsider our future behavior.”

I popped open a diet soda and continued watching the video interview with Dr. Gib Bearish. He spoke in a very sedate manner until the host questioned one of the doctor’s assertions about discarding dreams.

“Hope is a fallacy!” Bearish snarled. “What matters is concrete action, not wishes and dreams. I mean, would you rather get one thousand dollars cash in your hand right now, or a lottery ticket?”

I listened for a few more minutes as the poor host tried to improvise with jokes and banter to lighten the burgeoning tensions as the doc continued in his pugnacious manner.

Then my AI-constructed robot Buddy Hackitt dinged. His capture light had turned green, indicating that he had been able to replicate the host’s and the doctor’s voiceprints, eye prints, and fingerprints from the screen. I hit the go button, telling Buddy he could begin to download whatever he could from their accessible accounts.

I too would rather have a thousand bucks in my hand today as opposed to the lottery ticket that might pay off from conventionally acceptable behavior.

Next video…

©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Written for Emma’s Wednesday Writing Prompt (once we begin). I tagged this piece “science fiction,” but is it?


bear water plunge dive

A break from routine
Is what I need to find.
Pause the worries that chase
Each other like butterflies
In an endless cycle
Around my mind;
A cool refreshing hiatus
From the daily grind,
Until I recenter
And unwind.
I splash into bliss,
Leaving the world behind…
I’ll return in a day
Or three,
If I’m so inclined.

©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Written for Moonwashed Musings Weekly Prompt 136 (hiatus). Please note that I am not actually going on hiatus.

One-Liner Wednesday

Alice cat read book

“Poetry: the best words in the best order.” ~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge

©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Wishes in the Wind

dandelion fluff

Closed my eyes and wished

The wind whisked my dreams away

Somewhere a weed grows

©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Senryū written for dVerse Poets Pub Weed Appreciation Day.

Two for Tuesday ~ Teachers

Mamma Mia 2

Who was your most influential teacher? Why?

This was a Daily Prompt last week, and I’m just now getting ’round to it. The image is from Mamma Mia (2) ~ Here We Go Again when the three girls (Donna and the Dynamos) graduated university while singing “When I Kissed the Teacher.” I can’t decide if MM2 surpassed MM1 (simply called Mamma Mia!), so I keep watching them both repeatedly in order to try to make a decision. On the one hand, MM1 had the best songs and lots of Meryl Streep, but otoh MM2 had Lily James (I really love her) and all the characters as their younger selves, which was so well done. They both had Christine Baranski, one of my most favorite actors ~ she is absolutely hilarious. I’ll let you know if I ever decide which movie I prefer, and in the meantime I am forced to watch both yet again. Ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

So. Teachers. I have to say, without naming names because I’ve mostly forgotten them, that my early ed teachers were pretty meh. They clearly favored the cute, athletic kids, of which I was neither, so I not only felt like an outcast from my peers for being fat and klutzy, but I didn’t feel that the teachers wanted me there either.

That’s a heavy bag of negative emotion for a little kid to lug around every day, and I didn’t have a large, supportive family or neighborhood friend group to make up for it, just my parents who were not that sympathetic. It’s not their fault they weren’t; they just didn’t have the experience to deal with it, plus “bullying” hadn’t hit the media yet, so no one gave a sh!t if kids made up mean nicknames for me. The teachers certainly knew I was being picked on, and yet they did nothing. It wasn’t just me ~ some of the smaller boys were physically hurt by the bullies, and no one helped them either. I guess I was lucky that mine was “only” verbal. If you’re thinking that all the not-cute, not-athletic kids could have bonded and created their own awesome friend group… you’ve been watching too much fiction.

Pink and purple paper doll girls

My college teachers at CSUN though were marvelous. I learned so much from them: philosophy, poetry, creative writing, etc. It was a fabulous experience. I wasn’t there to make friends and party, however; I was an “older” student at that point, married, and I did not live that close to campus, but commuted from the other side of the Valley (Glendale to Northridge). There are two notable moments that stand out in my mind regarding my college professors.

One was a philosophy professor, Dr. M. I took a logic class from him, and in my youthful arrogance I decided I did not have to bother learning the boring formulas because, early on, my own reasoning got me to the correct answer every time. I received 100% on the first quiz. So far so good, right? On the next quiz I received a D. I freaked out utterly and burst into tears the second I left the room. There was no way back from this, so I decided to drop the class and filled out all the forms. The last thing I had to do was get Dr. M to sign the form. He refused! What?!? How could he refuse? He made me explain why I wanted to drop, so I told him the truth. He said he’d help me speed-learn the stuff I’d glossed over and I would end up OK. I agreed. And he was right. (This was a completely different experience from when I dropped AP Chem in high school ~ the teacher never helped me when I asked him to and didn’t give a crap.)

You know, I still throw stuff out that displeases me (like the paintings I did this past Saturday ~ barf), but I do think about Dr. M when it comes to jettisoning anything meaningful, not to mention having the confidence to try, try again.

Another notable moment was when my poetry professor, Ms. B, asked me to read some of my work aloud in a bookstore. Of course, I was terrible at it and my throat was so dry my voice cracked. I know this sounds like “stage fright,” and maybe it was, but I didn’t feel afraid of reading to an audience. In fact, I was really looking forward to it. My voice cracks when I read Dr. Seuss to my grandkids, so maybe it’s just a thing I have. In any case, that’s not the point. The point is that Ms. B, a well-regarded poet in her own right, thought I was good enough to read in front of a real audience ~ she didn’t ask everyone in the class. That gave me a huge boost of writing confidence that carries me to this day.

jump for joy heart balloon

©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Self-Imposed Pressure

Hand keyboard typing dark

Create more content, pen some poetry, whip up a flash fiction piece, snap a pic of my cat. Get those stats up. My views have dropped. Comment count is trending down. Post, post, post! The pressure is on. Visit other bloggers, comment, engage. My averages have dipped. Don’t skip any prompts or challenges. Write, write, write! Don’t sleep, don’t eat. Keep staring at that screen. Where are the precious words? Why have they abandoned me? Flatlined.

Take a breath outside
Fluffy clouds float serenely
Nature’s refreshment

©️2023 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

Written for dVerse Haibun Monday (pressure).